A range of urban gardening products inspired by fairtrade farmer hacks

The Idea

SmallFolders are flatpack urban gardening products inspired by African and Latin American farmers and their hacks to gardening challenges. SmallFolders will help you grow herbs and plants, keep bees, and bring the magic of nature straight from the fields to your balcony or windowsill.

We noticed that many of the farmers’ hacks are focused on utilising space and finding efficient ways to grow in small areas. These are very similar challenges to the ones we face in London. Here we saw the opportunity to take these designs direct from the fields of smallholder farmers and turn them into products ready for urban environments.

In honour of their origins we have called them SmallFolders. Farmers are the experts who know best how to grow plants using simple techniques developed over years of experimentation and innovation. Therefore, with SmallFolders we have adapted farmers’ gardening designs, showcasing the in-depth knowledge of smallholders and the relevance of their expertise to western audiences.

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The Farmers

We are Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF) and we work with a network of 280,000 smallholder farmers and 37 farmer cooperatives across Africa and Latin America.

Our work helps to create forums in which farmers can get together to share their experiences, knowledge and innovations with one another. CPF's programmes and focus is entirely led by these farmers and showcases locally relevant and low-cost innovations to improve their livelihoods.

The Products

We have been assisted by product designers from Those to take the farmers' ideas and create the initial product designs! We now have a great working model of a vertical garden to accompany designs for two further SmallFolder products: the Bee Hive, and the Bug Trap.

Your support will make these a reality - as well as feed money back in to help develop even more products with our farming network!

A Vertical Garden

a simple way of keeping a kitchen garden in a small space.

From the farmers of Mitchimikuru, Kenya

The Farmers Challenge

Lack of free land can make growing food for consumption very difficult. Vertical gardens are a good solution as they help keep in moisture when it’s hot, and let water drain out when it’s wet. They don’t take up much space, and are cheap and easy to make.

Why you'll love it

Owning a garden in cities is rare but with the vertical garden you can grow plants even in a small flat. The vertical garden is flat packed, easy to set up garden to grow your favourite foods in your own home, with a variety of colours to choose from.

Bug Trap

a simple way of controlling unwanted bugs from destroying a harvest.

From the farmers of Fedecares, Dominican Republic

The Farmers Challenge

Coffee farmers in Latin America lose a lot of their crop to pests and diseases. Solutions to this can be expensive and damaging to the environment. Therefore, farmers in the Dominican Republic designed these homemade traps using everyday materials, such as plastic bottles, as a more environmentally friendly alternative.

Why you'll love it

We’ve developed this bug trap that will replicate the original’s effectiveness but with a smaller body and modern design, perfect for your home!

Bee Hive

a simple way to keep bees and produce honey

From the farmers of Chirinos, Perú

The Farmers Challenge

Smallholder farmers often seek ways to diversify their incomes and bring in some extra cash to the household. Farmers in Perú have found a solution by harvesting honey and beeswax which can be consumed at home or sold at the market.

Why you'll love it

Bees are in serious trouble. Their populations are declining rapidly and causing huge problems within complex ecosystems. However, people in both urban and rural environments can help. Our Bee Hive enables you to keep bees on your balcony, giving them a home in the city, whilst getting tasty honey in the process.

A full circle approach to innovation for farmers that make your tea & coffee possible.

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